Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

GI Bill transfer rights rules anger some vets

May. 5, 2009 - 12:17PM   |   Last Updated: May. 5, 2009 - 12:17PM  |  
  • Filed Under

As the Aug. 1 launch date nears for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, more people are realizing they won't be able to share education benefits with their families.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use armytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Army Times Prime is free for current Army Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Army Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

As the Aug. 1 launch date nears for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, more people are realizing they won't be able to share education benefits with their families.

One of the requirements to transfer benefits to a spouse or children is that the service member must still be in the military Aug. 1 — bad news for people about to separate or who have already separated.

Air Force Lt. Col. Lisa Henry-Hamilton, dean of academics at the Defense Language Institute's Foreign Language Center, will miss the Aug. 1 date because she has a previously approved July 1 retirement date that it is too late to change. Already on terminal leave while awaiting the end of her 23-year career, Henry-Hamilton feels cheated.

"I might have changed my date if I had known this," she said in response to the Pentagon's announcement last week of how transfer rights will work.

"I have served 23 years," she said. "For two months to make this difference after serving on 9/11 and deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan just seems like perhaps everything wasn't taken into consideration."

Henry-Hamilton said she knows transfer rights were included in the new GI Bill as a recruiting and retention benefit, but "it is called the Post-9/11 GI Bill for a reason. Shouldn't the transfer apply to those who were in since then?"

Iraq war veteran Dana Beausoleil said the transfer rights policy is unfair to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were unable to stay in the military because of combat-related medical conditions or who were denied re-enlistment since their combat service ended.

"It is a national tragedy," said Beausoleil, who said he has more than 27 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

"I am a wounded warrior with TBI, tremors, massive nerve damage in my right shoulder and arm, loss of feeling in my right hand, PTSD, and back injuries," he said. "Under the ‘approved guidelines,' I am not eligible to transfer any benefits to my children, even though my disability has cost me my military career."

He said he has earned GI Bill benefits that he could use himself, but has no plans to do so because he already has a master's degree that "I had to pay for myself." He would have liked to use the new benefits to pay for the college education of his two daughters.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

The push for pullups
Why soldiers want it added to PT test

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
   Last Post: garhkal
        Apr 15, 2014 4:55 PM
   Last Post: Shaken1976
        Apr 15, 2014 5:13 PM
   Last Post: MACHINE666
        Apr 6, 2014 4:23 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook